Friday, November 13, 2009
Oats..not just for horses.
If you know me at all you know that I preach and teach oats. It's my personal doctrine, my nutrition dogma. Every November I make it my personal agenda to make sure everyone hears again how important this little grain is to your health. It is so simple and so cheap I can't understand why everyone does not eat it. It is SO good for your body systems: digestive, cardiovascular, muscular and depending on your choice of added toppings you can pretty much include every other system. Fighting cholesterol is on America's mind..this is a simple thing to help you with that.
My answer to eating oatmeal AND complying with America's number one mantra, QUICK AND EASY, is the Oatmeal Station. Yes, it deserves capitals. The premise is simple: One large container of oatmeal and several small containers of toppings. Think of it as an ice cream buffet only when you finish this you can feel good about yourself.
It's important to set up the containers of oatmeal and toppings to comply with the QUICK and EASY part. Let's face it, if you and your family have to find the boxes, drag out the boxes, put away the boxes they WON'T. And, you won't. Line up your containers on your counter like little health warriors. It doesn't matter if they match. Be creative. Glass is best; plastic is worst. I purchased small 1/8 measuring cups to go in each container.
In your selection of oats, steel-cut or cracked is best, rolled is next and instant is a big fat NO. Steel-cut/cracked should be soaked overnight to not only hasten preparation of the morning feast but to allow enzymes to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. (An enemy of mineral absorption). Soaked oats are ready to go come morning or if you are using rolled oats just pop them in a pan, add some water and heat. I don't even do that much. I put my oats right in the bowl, add hot water, let it sit a minute, add my toppings and down the hatch.
There are two resounding, uncompromising, non-negotiable items in a healthy oatmeal bar. No microwaves. No white sugar. Come on, how long does it take to heat water? Invest in a tea kettle. It's your health we're talking about here. We have a hot/cold water dispenser so it's super easy.
So, have a go...as always, if you have questions just shoot me an email: elizabeth@GBHfarm.com. Or comments are welcome here.
Again, be creative; here's a list of toppings to get you started:
Raisins, any dried fruit (natural NOT sulphured), frozen fruit, unsweetened coconut, any kind of nuts, natural flavorings like vanilla or almond, wheat germ and yogurt.
Sweeteners: honey, maple syrup (real not fake), stevia, molasses, date sugar, malted grain syrups and as a last resort raw sugar.